Josina Reaves Misses Million Dollar Question on “Millionaire”; Wins $25,000
For the second time in American Who Wants to be a Millionaire history, and the first time in daytime Millionaire history, a contestant has gone for $1,000,000 and regretfully lost. Josina Reaves, a high school English teacher from Brooklyn, New York, climbed to the top of the money tree, facing the million dollar question. However, she unfortunately gave a wrong answer, leaving with $25,000. Josina is the first person since 2007 to see a million dollar question on the daytime version of the popular quiz show. This was also Cedric the Entertainer’s first million dollar question.
Josina played a brilliant and gutsy game. She was one of the few that managed to carry both Jump the Question lifelines into Round 2. Josina bravely gambled and answered her $100,000 question correctly. This meant she could Jump the $250,000 and $500,000 question. With a bank of $100,000, she faced this million dollar question:
In addition to his career as an astrologer and “prophet,” Nostradamus published a 1555 treatise that included a section on what?
A: Training parrots to talk
B: Cheating at card games
C: Digging graves
D: Making jams and jellies
By reaching Round Two, Josina was guaranteed $25,000. She did not know the answer. However, she reasoned she would have to gamble $75,000 for the chance to win a million dollars. To the shock of the audience and host Cedric, Josina guessed C as her final answer. Unfortunately, the correct answer was D, and Josina left with $25,000. The last person to beat the game was Nancy Christy in 2003. Sam Murray won $1,000,000 in a special tournament in 2009. Check it out below if you missed it earlier (MP4 video).
This episode is why we love Millionaire and, especially, this current Super Mix format. For the first time since before they switched to the clock, the show seems winnable. We had a brief glimmer of hope during the clock once or twice, but every season since the show switched to its current random format, it feels like someone can win. People have come close but just wouldn’t pull the trigger. Josina did and it made for an episode of television that will be hard to forget. It was heart pounding, thrilling, and reminded you why Millionaire is the best quiz there is. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another few years for a million dollar question, and hopefully future contestants see what Josina did and follow her lead.
Beyond a million dollar winner, which we all would love, I don’t know what more you could have asked for her. If you say, after today, that the clock format was any better than what we had here or any of the other big moments since Super Mix then you’re being obstinate on purpose.
Special mention also needs to go to Cedric who hosted this great. The dramatic pauses, readings, and tone he gave to the upper levels were fantastic. He’s doing exactly what we wanted and what we hoped he did. He’s having fun at the lower level of the game but once we get to the big money, he takes it seriously and gives a great performance. The small speech he gave after Josina missed, explaining moments like these are why he wanted to host the show, should fill viewers with confidence. The show is in great hands.
Photo and video courtesy Disney-ABC Television.